Beijing QF #1: (Q) Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs (5) Garbine Muguruza
Friday’s 4th and final quarter-final at the China sees American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands come up against last week’s Wuhan runner-up Garbine Muguruza. Bethanie Mattek-Sands has exceeded all expectations this week, reaching one of her biggest quarter-finals in recent memory. Garbine Muguruza is also having a good week, the Spaniard has secured her spot at the WTA Finals in Singapore for the first time in her singles career.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands has had one of her best seasons in a while, especially at the Grand Slam level. The American is now on her greatest run at a WTA event this season, coming through the qualifying draw to reach the quarter-final stage in Beijing. The American only just advanced through the qualifying draw, needing a third set tiebreaker to defeat Lucie Hradecka in the final round of qualifying. Bethanie has certainly gone on to make the most of her spot in the main draw.
Mattek-Sands has had a reasonably favourable draw, she has taken full advantage. The American started the week with a comfortable straight set victory over an out of form Alize Cornet. Bethanie secured her spot in the quarter-finals with three set victories over Lara Arruabarrena and Roberta Vinci. Bethanie’s 6-1 3-6 6-2 victory over U.S Open finalist Roberta Vinci was particularly impressive, the American ending Roberta’s chances of an unlikely appearance at the WTA Finals in Singapore.
Garbine Muguruza arrived in Beijing on the back of a solid week in Wuhan where she played some wonderful tennis before fatigue got the better of her in the final. Garbine Muguruza needed two victories in Beijing to secure her spot at the WTA Finals in Singapore and she has done just that. The Spaniard started the week with a comprehensive 6-2 6-1 victory over Irina Falconi before recovering from a terribly sluggish start to defeat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 1-6 6-2 6-1.
This will be the first career meeting between Bethanie and Garbine, it promises to be an entertaining match. Now that Garbine has clinched her spot at the WTA Finals, it is not clear how motivated she will be to keep going in Beijing, especially given the amount of tennis she has recently played. The same cannot be said for Mattek-Sands, the American has everything to play for on Friday night and will enter this match willing to do anything to reach the semi-finals of such a big event. Therefore pocking a winning in this match isn’t as simple as it may seem.
I’m still going to stick with Garbine, she may even play with more freedom now that she feels she has nothing to lose which is certainly a dangerous prospect for Mattek-Sands. If Garbine turns up to play, she will win.
Prediction: Garbine Muguruza to defeat Bethanie Mattek-Sands in 2 sets